Here is my Tamiya 1/48 Crusader Mk.I, built out of the box except for the German air recognition flag, which came from Archer Fine Transfers. The model is based on a photo I found of a smiling German soldier leaning against a captured Crusader (fortuitously one of the machines represented in the Tamiya kit) with a flag draped behind him for added effect.
This was the first armour model I’d built since I was a teenager (a long time ago), and the quality of Tamiya’s mouldings made it a very enjoyable experience. Fit was superb everywhere except for that of the road wheels onto the die-cast hull, with several wheels inconveniently popping off later in the build. Joins were filled with Tamiya liquid primer, with any excess wiped off before it was dry with a cotton bud dipped in lacquer thinner.
The model was painted with Tamiya lacquer (TS-46 Light Sand), decanted from the rattle can and applied with my ancient Badger single-action airbrush. This was the first time I’d used Tamiya lacquers like this, but the results were so good – and the drying time so fast – that they’re now my favourite paints. After a gloss coat of Testor’s Glosscote lacquer (also excellent, even when thinned with Tamiya lacquer thinner), I applied a wash of Pro-Modeller Dark Dirt, followed by a dry brushing with Tamiya Deck Tan enamel and a light spray of Testor’s Dullcote lacquer. I should probably have been a bit more adventurous, experimenting with filters and a bit more weathering, but in the end I chickened out and went for a reasonably clean finish.
Anyone comparing the original photograph with the finished model will note several inconsistencies, such as the model’s lack of side racks and radio antennae. However because I was aiming for a largely out of the box build, I decided not to include these details.
The base is a resin item from Verlinden, the surface of which was annoyingly covered with thousands of air bubbles. However, it painted up well, and complements the model nicely.
Model, Images and Text
by Brad Fallen